Midnight at the Oasis
Beyond the Ringing Mountains is the largest untouched wilderness in Athas: the Forest Ridge, where rain falls every day and all manner of strange beasts prowl. It’s a verdant jungle, full of animals and plants seen nowhere else in the world. A full 10,000 feet above the rest of Athas, the Ridge is about 30 to 40 degrees cooler than the desert lowlands.
But the Forest Ridge is no safe haven. Feral halfling tribes roam the jungle, killing and devouring those who cross them. Competition is fierce, and the ridge is full of deadly predators that know a thousand ways to camouflage themselves and kill their prey.
The Forest Ridge is also full of ancient, untapped ruins belonging to ancient halfling civilizations. Some halflings suggest that all races are actually descended from them; most scholars laugh at such ideas.
The eastern edge of the ridge is dotted by massive stone colossi, half-buried in the earth. These colossi act as an ancient primal ward against defiling magic. If the ward still functions, it does not prevent typical defiling from functioning, but defilers often find that the jungle turns against them; predators, carnivorous plants, and deadly snares seem to target them with unusual aggression.
Beyond the Forest Ridge, the mountains descend back to a normal elevation, and the land becomes a dry desert again. The Western Hinterlands are home to several thri-kreen khanates.